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Scottish Refugee Council
Artists Symposium

Thu 27 June 2019

An artist led symposium with a particular focus on themes of disruption and belonging. This programme is led from the perspective of artists with lived experience of seeking refugee protection and whose work has a focus on migration and identity.

Hosted by Zimbabwean writer, poet and performer, Tawona Sitholé, the forum will provide a space for ten artists to share their practices and experiences of working locally and internationally, and to stimulate ongoing discussion within the arts sector in Scotland.

Scottish-based artists including Iman Tajik and Farah Saleh as well as international artists including Manaf Halbouni and others will present on current pieces of work several of which are focal elements of the curated arts Refugee Festival Scotland 2019 programme: Iman Tajik Freedom of Movement, Farah Saleh Gesturing Refugees and Manaf Halbouni Rubble Theatre.

Participants in the symposium will include other professional artists from refugee and migrant backgrounds, curators, producers and cultural organisations who seek to foster new collaborations and nurture the development and visibility of artists working in this sector.

This event sits at the heart of Refugee Festival Scotland, an annual Scotland-wide festival of over 100 arts, culture and community events. It is co-ordinated by Scottish Refugee Council and is now in its nineteenth year. The festival, running from 20 June to 30 June 2019, celebrates the contribution people from refugee communities make to life in Scotland – the music and poetry, art, dance, food and drink, language and ideas that people bring with them when they settle in Scotland. This year’s theme is MAKING ART, MAKING HOME and the festival showcases the work of a number of professional and emerging artists with refugee backgrounds.

Scottish Refugee Council is Scotland's national refugee charity dedicated to supporting people seeking refugee protection in Scotland. We provide advice and a listening ear to people who are rebuilding their lives in Scotland. We campaign for a fair and just asylum system and work to support a movement of people dedicated to making Scotland a welcoming and peaceful place to live. As part of our arts and cultural development work, we are interested in amplifying the voices and experiences of Scottish based artists and cultural practitioners with lived experience of seeking refugee protection and whose work is helping shape the changing cultural landscape of Scotland.